‘Replacement children’ and early loss.

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The Freud Museum London

12 June 2024

Time: 16:00

Price: Free with admission


Freud’s 4pm Session: ‘Replacement children’ and early loss: Sigmund Freud’s lifelong preoccupation?

Families face tremendous psychic pain when they experience the loss of a child. The experience is enduring, can remain unconscious and even impact more than one generation. The death of a child can be especially impactful for the child born after the loss, it can affect older siblings and those who are born years later. We will speculate on the impact of early loss on Freud throughout his lifetime. From his writings, he appears to have had a lifelong preoccupation with loss and death, and yet he was the most extraordinary creative thinker. In addition, reference will be made to the experiences of famous ‘replacement children’, such as J.M. Barrie, Elvis Presley, Salvador Dali, Vincent van Gogh and Carl Gustav Jung who were born in an atmosphere of profound loss and parental mourning.

*The definition of what constitutes the “replacement child” is complex. For more detailed definitions please click here.


Dr Zack Eleftheriadou is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She has qualified as a parent-infant, child and adult psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and is a member of The Bowlby Centre. She runs the consultancy service ‘Noema’, providing psychotherapy, supervision and teaching (infant observation, cross-cultural, trauma and developmental issues). She is a visiting external examiner for Doctoral level university students. She feels passionate about early intervention and regularly presents on the psychology of the baby, for midwives and paediatric nurses. In the past, she has worked in various London NHS Hospitals, ‘Freedom from Torture’ and ‘Nafsiyat’, The Inter-Cultural Therapy Centre, London. She has been working as a psychotherapist in London for 30 years. She is particularly interested in the ‘replacement child’ dynamics and has contributed to The Replacement Forum.

Tickets include admission to the Museum. The event is free for Freud Museum Members and Patrons. The event will be held on the first floor of the Museum during regular opening hours. Unfortunately the Freud Museum does not have step-free access at this time. Advance booking is highly recommended as capacity is limited.

Concessions/Members/Patrons: Please show proof of eligibility/membership card on arrival.


The purpose of this event is to raise funds for the Freud Museum London, which receives no regular public income.

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